Kentucky Basketball: Update on the Class of 2013 Targets, Offers and Commitments
It has been a busy summer for John Calipari. Between high school basketball tournaments, in-home visits, coaching two teams and continuing his philanthropy in the Bluegrass State, Calipari has stayed active after claiming his first national championship.
With basketball season just around the corner, recruitment for the 2013 class has heated up. More players are narrowing their lists, taking official visits and making commitments.
In this article, we'll take a look at the abundance of 2013 recruits that have garnered interest from Calipari and his coaching staff.
You'll be able to read up on all the latest news and notes surrounding these top recruits, as well as my take on the recruitment of each prospect.
Let's get started.
Some recruiting services still consider Jabari Parker the top dog in the 2013 class.
Regardless of his ranking, Parker is a top-five prospect, would be a great addition to the 2013 class for Kentucky and has been offered a scholarship.
It doesn't look like it's going to happen for Kentucky though.
Parker has set eight in-home visits with basketball coaches, none of which include a member of the Kentucky staff. His list still includes 10 schools (BYU, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, Stanford), but no in-home visit hurts Calipari's chances with Parker.
My take: He'll likely trim his list sometime in the near future. Don't be surprised to see Kentucky miss the cut.
As Jabari Parker fades from view, the image of Julius Randle in Lexington brightens.
Randle, another consensus top-five recruit in the 2013 class, holds a scholarship offer from Kentucky and welcomed John Calipari into his home earlier this month. His high school coach, Chris Mayberry, said Randle is extremely comfortable with Calipari.
What's more, Randle was in Lexington on Sept. 15 for the UK alumni basketball game for one of his five official visits.
Randle would be a linchpin for the 2013 class if he does commit. Chances are he'll wait till spring to make his decision, making the race for his signature wide open.
My take: Right now, it's impossible to determine a leader for Randle, and because his decision is a long way away, he may not trim his list anytime soon. Fortunately, Kentucky is a school that clearly stands out for the Texas stud.
Aaron and Andrew Harrison
What needs to be said about the Harrison twins?
Aaron and Andrew are two of the best prospects in the 2013 class. According to ESPN, they're officially down to three schools: Kentucky, Maryland and Southern Methodist is a distant third.
Kentucky and Maryland have been considered the two front-runners for the twins. Both schools have held in-home visits with the twins and their family, and both schools have plenty of attractive qualities.
Lexington has the history of championships, NBA draft picks and a coach that knows how to get it done. Big Blue Nation is everywhere, and exposure is on another level in the Bluegrass state. The twins would be a cornerstone for the Kentucky recruiting class in 2013, one that could be one of the best ever.
Maryland has more of a family appeal. Head coach Mark Turgeon has recruited the duo since his time at Texas A&M. Shaquille Cleare, a former teammate, plays for the Terps. Maryland also has the "shoe factor." Under Armour, founded in Maryland by a Maryland graduate, supports the twins' travel team, the Houston Defenders.
My take: Flip a coin. That's how close it is between Kentucky and Maryland, and I wouldn't be shocked if they chose either school. Now, if they chose SMU...
Aaron Gordon is the best prospect in the state of California.
That makes him a hot commodity for western schools like Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington, all of which have offered him a scholarship.
The only team in the Eastern time zone on Gordon's list is the Kentucky Wildcats.
Gordon will make four official visits, with one more to spare. He has already hosted John Calipari for an in-home visit and has spoken highly of the Wildcats in the past. He is one of two remaining power forwards that holds an offer from Kentucky.
My take: I'd be surprised to see Gordon come east, but I wouldn't say the Cats are out of the race. Gordon will wait till spring to make his college choice, giving Calipari ample time to make a sound recruiting pitch.
James Young is taking his time with his recruitment, much to the dismay of Kentucky fans who are looking for some high-profile recruiting action.
He's held a scholarship offer for some time, and he recently welcomed John Calipari into his home. Young trimmed his list down to five schools: Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and Syracuse.
When asked about Coach Calipari and the Wildcats, Young had nothing bad to say. He wants to be one-and-done and wants to be at one of the top programs in the nation (evident in his list).
His game (namely, scoring) will translate perfectly to the next level.
My take: Young was considered to be the next-in-line recruit after Derek Willis committed, but he may wait till spring. He may be waiting to see how the class plays out, but in the end, I think he chooses Kentucky over his home state Spartans.
Seven schools are on Jermaine Lawrence's list. Kentucky is the only school that has yet to send a scholarship offer his way.
With a late decision, Lawrence will be able to see how the dominoes fall. If Kentucky strikes out on other combo forwards, he'll likely receive a scholarship. Lawrence is a combo forward that can play inside and out. His game draws comparisons to Terrence Jones.
My take: I'd love to see Lawrence in Lexington regardless of who signs/who doesn't. He kept Kentucky on his list for a reason, and with a scholarship offer, I think he picks Kentucky. But will he receive a scholarship offer if Kentucky lands Julius Randle?
Marcus Lee was recently offered a scholarship from the University of Kentucky.
He plans to make an official visit to Lexington for Big Blue Madness on Oct. 13. What's more, Lee is down to three schools: California, Kentucky and Louisville.
Lee received the scholarship after an in-home visit last weekend. It is looking like Kentucky is gaining momentum in his recruitment.
My take: While I think Cal is the clear leader for Lee, it seems like he holds Kentucky in high regard. If Big Blue Madness rocks his socks, he may be a Wildcat next year.
Ah, what to think about Kennedy Meeks?
Meeks is the highest ranked center in the 2013 class (according to ESPN), and he's the 17th-best prospect in the class.
There is clearly a short supply of elite centers, but Meeks is one of them. He told the Courier-Journal back in July that Kentucky is "showing a lot of interest recently."
Meeks still has a long list of potential schools, so there's still some time for Kentucky to gain momentum.
My take: I'd love to see Meeks play in Lexington. He's got a great feel for the game and would be a lovely compliment to Willie Cauley-Stein down low. That being said, Meeks does not have a clear favorite just yet. His recruitment will take some time.
Rumors have been swirling that Dominic Woodson will not bring his talents to Lexington. The Kentucky Kernel reported that Woodson's coach, Rob Fulford, said that "he won't be going to Kentucky."
That may or may not be true, and Woodson still hasn't received an offer. He visited the campus on Sept. 8, and according to Cats Illustrated the visit went well.
He still hasn't knocked the Wildcats off of his official list (which sits at 10 schools), but a change could be coming soon.
My take: Meeks or Woodson? Both are big, burly centers that would be nice additions to round out the 2013 class. Meeks has a cleaner post game, but Woodson appears to like the Wildcats more.
Derek Willis: Committed to the University of Kentucky on Jan. 20.
Andrew Wiggins: Currently the consensus No. 1 in the 2014 class. Wiggins holds an offer from UK and has five schools on his list; Florida State and Kentucky are considered the two leaders. He is also taking classwork to potentially reclassify to the 2013 class.
Troy Williams: Holds an offer from Kentucky but his recruitment has dropped off recently. No in-home visit has been set up between Williams and the Wildcats.
Johnathan Williams III: Williams III and Kentucky expressed mutual preliminary interest late last year, but he does not have an offer.
Tyler Roberson: No offer is on the table, but Roberson was visited by Orlando Antigua on Sept. 13.
Tony Trocha: Trocha is in the class of 2013, but can enroll in college in December. He holds an offer from Kentucky, so stay tuned.